Tuesday, June 19, 2012

HOTEL CHECKS ITALY, part 7, Four Seasons Firenze

For good food, history, art, wine, shopping and romance, Florence is tops. And all can be enjoyed at Four Seasons Firenze, even your baroque fetish. Housed in a 15th century palazzo and convent, this Four Seasons gem is the ultimate in history and opulence. Meticulously renovated it recreates a fairytale baroque world among a  feast of frescoes and bas reliefs.

Yet Four Seasons Firenze is soothingly comfortable and up to date. What is more it enfolds a 4.5 hectare private park providing a green refuge, only a 10 minute walk from the Duomo and the crowds.

When you are saturated with the astounding heritage of Michelangelo and Giotto, this urban resort offers an enjoyable break at the pool lined with sunbeds. The park is a sight in itself, sculptures and arches, fountains and flowers, gigantic trees. In the Four Seasons restaurants facing the park you can enjoy al fresco dining and bar. Not to forget a good sized Jacuzzi that breathes its warmth into cold air in winter.

Reception at Four Seasons Firenze

Bar in a glassed-over courtyard at Four Seasons Firenze

The indoor restaurants (one Michelin star) ooze style, art and gourmet lifestyle, and a cleverly titivated sense of history. The bar and reception lounge are both housed in former courtyards, where you can see the upper storeys towering above a glass roof. A floor was added every century or so, when the owning family felt their power and influence merited concrete (or rather stone) proof.

For events, you can hire a terrace on the top of the hotel with romantic park view. Or the Gherardesca ballroom with its astoundingly beautiful 18th century French chandeliers and its murals. Those dazzling chandeliers even outshadow all the beautiful Murano glass ones sparkling around the hotel.


Romance comes high on the list of reasons for choosing Four Seasons Firenze. Delightul spot for intimate weddings with a teeny chapel astoundingly rich in frescoes and dazzling spots for dining and celebrating. Its lavish historical suites invite the prince and the princess to honeymoon. Not to forget an opulent couples treatment room with baroque gold decorated massage beds, and spa rituals for total rejuvenation. And so they lived happily ever after…

Murals on the 15th century chapel ceiling and walls

Four Seasons has also been the venue for large weddings with up to 1000 guests. Just ask us for information on how to put together your wedding on a couture basis...everything from opera singers to Michelin-starred menus for your guests.


The hotel offers 2 buildings, Palazzo Gheradesca and the Convent. You can’t choose which building you book but you can always request which one you prefer. We preferred the Palazzo, more grand in a way and brighter, whilst the convent was darker with velvet or silk bedcovers (but beautiful paintings on the ceilings).

Of course Four Seasons does not have any rooms that are not at least 39 sqm with marble bathrooms, bathtub, and glass encased cabinets for shower and toilet bidet. The starting categories – Superior, Deluxe and Premier rooms, and Four Seasons rooms (51 sqm) – are all luxurious but more corporate in style uplifted by well placed artwork.

Four Seasons Room

All the Four Seasons category look into the green park, as do many of the others, and are placed both in the old convent and the Gherardesca palazzo.

It takes the suites to get the real flights of fancy and magic. Silken bedspreads and drapes and gossamer butterfly wing effects as in the bedroom of the Royal suite… the kind of shot colours you imagine Cinderella must have had in her ballgown from the Fairy Godmother.

Royal suite bedroom

Gallery suite

Our favourite room in the convent is the Presidential Suite. Not only an amazing suite with frescos but also the most wonderful view and terrace towards the park.

Another category worth mentioning is La Villa Garden – a small villa in the garden close to the Convent. This is a wonderful villa for honeymooners with a private park in the park. Bright , light and modern.

We also recommend the Junior suites for their natural light.

Note: facilities are up to date but WIFI is chargeable at Four Seasons.

Who to stay

Four Seasons Firenze is great for lovers of renaissance culture, and for lovers in love, and those including families who want connecting rooms, resort style peace, spa and pool, a short walk from it all, with the soothing service of Four Seasons wrapping you in contentment.

How to get to Four Seasons Firenze

15 to 20 minutes by car from Florence International Airport. A taxi costs 20 to 25 euro depending on how much they wish to charge you for your luggage. Or arrive in style in a limousine.

Tip: Book in advance to avoid hours in queues to see Michelangelo, Giotto and Botticelli etc in the Uffizi and Galleria Dell'Accademia (the original of the David is in Accademia).

(c) Above are informal images snapped during site inspection, by Aleah L Stanbridge Photography, except the wedding images provided by Four Seasons.

Soak in the modern bathtub under murals (Renaissance suite) 

Shopping in the rain with a Four Seasons umbrella

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